Our Direct Air Capture technology does this by pulling in atmospheric air, then through a series of chemical reactions, extracts the carbon dioxide (CO2) from it while returning the rest of the air to the environment. This is what plants and trees do every day as they photosynthesize, except Direct Air Capture technology does it much faster, with a smaller land footprint, and delivers the carbon dioxide in a pure, compressed form that can then be stored underground or reused.
Our Direct Air Capture technology has four major pieces of equipment. The process starts with an air contactor, which is a large structure modelled off industrial cooling towers. A giant fan pulls air into this structure, where it passes over thin plastic surfaces that have potassium hydroxide solution flowing over them. This non-toxic solution chemically binds with the CO2 molecules, removing them from the air and trapping them in the liquid solution as a carbonate salt.
The CO2 contained in this carbonate solution is then put through a series of chemical processes to increase its concentration, purify and compress it, so it can be delivered in gas form ready for use or storage. This involves separating the salt out from solution into small pellets in a structure called a pellet reactor. These pellets are then heated in our third step, a calciner, in order to release the CO2 in pure gas form. This step also leaves behind processed pellets that are hydrated in a slaker and recycled back within the system to reproduce the original capture chemical.
For a more detailed look into our Direct Air Capture process, read our engineering and cost analysis paper here.